So much has happened since I got back from Singapore. Picked out about 360 photos for this post and had to whittle everything down to 80 ^^; Life is busy as usual but hope things slow down a wee bit as I take a break after Season 1 of Culture Japan which finishes on the 2nd of Jan 2011.
Season 2 of Culture Japan will probably start in April and before then I want to get the ball rolling on some products that I'm developing and also the Mirai Millennium Universe.
First photo - out n about on the trains. These are the priority seats. Do sit on em if you need to give your legs a rest but do please offer your seat to the needy when they come along.
The decision to use the Lumix GH2 for filming was indeed a great investment which has served us well over the past couple of months. He we have Cameraman Shimada-san and Sound Engineer Komoda-san setting up the equipment before filming.
In the office we film the AmiAmi Top 10 Ranking. One thing I've learned while directing Culture Japan is that lighting makes a huge difference - before I thought one could just turn up the exposure on the camera. Am looking for some decent LED portable lights to take around with us. All the lighting in the office you see here is on rental.
Richard and I find other uses for bedsheets and dakimakura covers.
Richard joined AmiAmi through dannychoo.com after I posted the job description a while ago. He now looks after all the English language orders and plays with figures all day long.
K-ON! socks - one for each day of the working week but you are on your own during the weekends.
Some Nia goes well as a side dish with some morning Mc Dees. Shes so cute!
At the Nagasaki Chanpon place for lunch.
When days are packed with filming from dawn until dusk, this is what our food usually looks like - nomming on some KFC for lunch in a car park.
Filming the intro for the Obitsu factory filming.
Christmas in Shinjuku. The Sakuraya electronic chain stores are mostly replaced by Bic Camera now.
Gorgeous evening sky at Musashikoyama.
Mos Burger want you to eat their Christmas chicken instead of Mc Dees or KFC.
Many food places in Japan will have a stack of magazines for you to read through while you nom your noms. Much of the reading material is manga and some of it includes gravure idol photos to help your meal taste a but more juicy?
At Azamiyuko-sensei's gaff filming "How to draw Manga" for Culture Japan. Here she's in the middle of drawing FlameBurst Mirai for Samurai Generations. The reason why I get my illustrators to draw the characters nekkid is so that we can draw on different sets of clothes after - makes a lot of sense and saves a load of moolah.
Some deep fried meat filled Renkon for dindins at home.
Afternoons require some recharge with some PG Tips and cake.
A common site in Japan where you will see folks walking along with their head tucked into their PSP or NDS. A good time saver I suppose.
Trying out the new Indian restaurant in the local shopping arcade.
A new bakery opens in the shopping mall too - trying out their "Curry Pan."
An evening stroll in Togoshi Ginza.
For the Shibuya Tour with Elly we got the local authorities to send us some photos of Shibuya which were taken many moons ago. This photo was taken in 1952 (Showa 52). There used to be a cable car running over Shibuya Crossing.
Another photo of Shibuya from the Showa period - this is where the Starbucks is today.
Taking Saber out for a ride.
A new way to carry Saber out n about?
Across Tokyo one can see the streets covered with yellow leaves as the temperature drops and strong winds hit the city.
Outside Kodansha publishing. Anything here tickle your fancy?
A view from some hotel near Iidabashi.
Kids love the Itasha.
I think we've used up all of the Hainan Chicken Rice instant mixes that we picked up from Singapore ToT.
I love Japanese carparks. The cars move sideways on a conveyor belt and then sink into the floor. When your car comes along, you get in and backup onto the turntable in the floor which then spins round to let you out. Do they have carparks like this in your neck of the woods?
Christmas decorations throughout the Palm shopping arcade.
Outside most opticians in Japan, you will see a table with a dish of water - this is for you to wash your glasses and is provided as a free service.
Found something interesting that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket that enables you to charge electrical appliances in the car. Need to get one before we do a drive tour of Japan.
The Chinese restaurant in Palm has got this Santa thing which dances about. Thought it was a real person when I first saw it ^^;
It costs money to get rid of large non-combustible items so occasionally you will see stuff outside ones property with a note saying "Please take."
This is what we do when we want to get rid of furniture or electronic equipment. If nobody takes it then we go to the convenience store to pay for a waste disposal sticker and call the local ward to pick up.
What do you do when you got huge stuff like this to trow away? Would your garbage collector just take it with the rest of the rubbish?
Getting rid of boxes for stuff that I'm most likely to keep for a very long time. In Japan, the furniture moving companies take great care when moving stuff for you and will even provide special cases for figures and wot not so keeping boxes for a move is unnecessary.
Dropping of a visitor at Narita airport. Cant wait for more international flights to start flying from Haneda Airport which is much closer to central Tokyo. If you are flying into Tokyo then try to get a flight which comes into Haneda instead.
This the turntable that we use for filming figures on Culture Japan. We've stuck about 1.5 kilos on it before and it still works. Runs on batteries though - want one that runs on USB so I can have it plugged in all day.
Whats better than samples arriving at the office? Edible samples - some lovely noms from one of the clients.
December 2010 is when the figma Mirai Suenaga went up for pre-order. Good Smile Company have shown us many prototype figures in the past which still have not made it to the production line so you can probably guess that *a lot* of effort goes into getting a character made into a figure. As you can imagine, I'm most pleased indeedee! Thanks to all comrades out there who made this happen ^o^
Having some after-filming noms with Saber and crew.
Out grabbing a bite to eat at the Italian place around the corner - cheap lunches in the afternoon but prices go up to about 3 times for the same food during the evening.
The Winter has gorgeous clear blue skies which feels so refreshing to breathe in.
Another new eatery opens up nearby - Kara-age which is deep fried chicken.
Out n about in Nishikoyama.
Dindins at home.
In the middle of filming another week of the AmiAmi ranking.
This weeks filming involves some ninja action.
The figures are filmed on the 2nd floor where there is a decent patch of wall.
Some of the figures that AmiAmi bring over for the shoot - which they occasionally forget to bring back with them ^^;
Went to see Tron at Lazona at the IMAX 3D - loved it!
End Of Year cleaning - pets out to dry after a dip in the washing machine. Have always wondered how often pet owners give their pets a wash. And no I'm not talking about pet dolphins as they should be washed daily at least.
Some samples to play with while waiting for Final Cut Pro to render. Anything here tickle your fancy?
I see faces when I walk about.
With some of the Good Smile Cafe girls.
ShabuShabu for dindins.
I wish Amazon would stop sending huge boxes for something that could fit in a small envelope.
Will be filming at Kadokawa who have sent us a load of stuff for Culture Japan - this tape contains the trailer for Summer Wars. Everything still seems to be tape based in the TV industry over here.
The first floor office has hardly any sunlight which is one of the reasons why I've been working up on the 3rd floor a lot of late. Find out more about the poster on the wall in the Sonico and Mirai post ^o^
Previous "A Week in Tokyo" posts below.